Fostering Historic Sceneries: 5 Moroccan Cities Used For Filming Locations For Hollywood Movies

Morocco has been the go to spot for Hollywood filming anything sand, sun and Arab. Endless sand, wonderous scenery and more importantly an easy procedure and cheaper than most has made Morrocco Hollywood’s go to Arabia.


Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies, a spy film set in Casablanca, features Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crow, and Mark Strong. A CIA agent named Roger Ferris (DiCaprio) is entangled in a web of deceit from both his superiors and the Jordan Intelligence Service while searching for a terrorist organization’s head in Jordan. The movie was filmed in numerous Moroccan cities, including Rabat and Casablanca. According to The Irishman, an interesting fact about this action thriller is that the Casablanca airport was misrepresented as the Jordan Intelligent Service’s administrative center.


Orson Welles is the director, producer, and main character in the tragedy Othello. Shakespearean play serves as the basis for this joint American, Italian, French, and Moroccan production. Essaouira, a city on the Atlantic coast in western Morocco’s Meakec-Asfi region, served as the location for the filming. Additional filming took place at the cities of Safi, which is in western Morocco and is situated on the Atlantic Ocean, and Agadir, which is situated on the Atlantic Ocean’s coast not far from the Atlas Mountains. According to Inspired by Maps, Orson Welles has a square in Essaouira that bears his name, and a plaque honoring him is located in the center of the square.


Taguenzalt in the region of Souss-Massa-Drâa is located some 353 km South of Rabat, the country’s capital. One such village was used as a filming location for parts of Babel (2006). This is a movie that shows an accident that connects four groups of people on three different continents: two young Moroccan goatherders, a vacationing American couple (Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett), a deaf Japanese teen and her father, and a Mexican nanny who takes her young charges across a border without parental permission. Also, this location is home to an impressive selection of attractions and experiences, making it a beautiful location for filming Hollywood pictures and an incredible destination for hiking and other outdoor activities.


In 2004, Oliver Stone directed a star-studded ensemble that included Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, and Jared Leto in a film that was shot in the streets of Marrakech and around Morocco. Alexander the Great’s life is shown in the historical drama from his early years to his reign as king of Macedonia, when his empire grew to include Egypt, Persia, regions of India, and Asia Minor.


A Hologram for the King starring Tom Hanks made its way to the beautiful shores of Rabat. The movie talks about American businessman Alan Clay who visits an eerily deserted “city of the future” eager to firm up his appointment with the King of Saudi Arabia. Instead, he learns only that a meeting might happen at some vague point in the future. Hanks also filmed Cloud Atlas, a sci-fi movie, in many parts of Morocco. making him one of the Hollywood actors who shot more than one film in the beautiful nation.

However, while it brings joy to the heart that Hollywood movies and blockbusters are being shot in Morocco, some claim that it’s damaging to Moroccan dignity, and might even dissuade tourists from visiting. An interview by The Guardian, stated that Morocco people have been tired of being portrayed as the same terrorists over and over again. While others suggest that it’s a great opportunity that the country is attracting such big-scale projects. Many of the Hollywood movies mentioned have been heavily scrutinized for perpetuating or rather birthing Arab stereotypes.

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